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Seven Hours' Sleep Is Optimal for 16 Year Olds' Academic Excellence

Update Date: Mar 06, 2012 02:21 PM EST

Even though federal guidelines tell teenagers should sleep as long as they feel they need to, it was found that seven-hour sleeping 16-18 year olds do better academically than their nine-hour counterparts.

The results were found by researchers Eric Eide and Mark Showalter from Brigham Young University.

To get a nationally representative sample of schoolchildren, researchers gathered data on 1,724 primary and secondary pupils across the USA.

They found that the amount of sleep had an impact on standardized academic tests. However, more sleep doesn't necessarily mean better.

How much sleep children need drops with age. Each night 10-year-olds need 9-9.5 hours, 12-year-olds need 8-8.5 hours and 16-year-olds need 7 hours for sleep.

Showalter said, "Most of our students at BYU, especially those that took early-morning seminary classes in high school, are going to realize that 9 hours of sleep isn't what the top students do."

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